“Clean label” movement picks up steam

“Clean label” movement picks up steam

“Clean label” has become a hot topic in the food and beverage industry as consumers begin to look more closely at what goes into their food and beverages. Many consumers are now using the “kitchen test”-“can the ingredients on the label be found in my own kitchen?”-as their rule of thumb to determine whether or not to buy a product. They are scrutinizing ingredients decks on packages for a short list of ingredients with names they can recognize, and avoiding those with unpronounceable, chemical-...


Retail pizza innovation moving in the right direction

Retail pizza innovation moving in the right direction

The frozen pizza industry has a problem on its hands: in the face of health and “real food” trends, frozen pizza may be suffering from a processed food stereotype. The bottom line is that during 2010-2014, the percentage of households eating frozen pizza in the past 30 days has dropped slightly, while the percentage eating 10+ pizzas per month has dropped 15%. The trend is particularly troubling because it involves demographics that have been core users, such as consumers living in households wi...


Local foods: A sales boom on par with “organic”?

Local foods:  A sales boom on par with “organic”?

Will local foods overtake organic foods in popularity? Some members of the industry think so based in part on consumer demand now at an all-time high. Data from a November 2014 proprietary Packaged Facts National Consumer Survey published in Shopping for Local Foods in the U.S. found that 53% of the 2,271 adult respondents specially seek out locally grown or locally produced foods. Among the primary reasons for purchasing locally grown or locally produced foods, 60% of consumers who purchase loc...


From takeout to haute cuisine, gluten-free is on the menu

From takeout to haute cuisine, gluten-free is on the menu

That sound you (virtually) heard on January 26, when Pizza Hut debuted its Udi’s-crusted gluten-free pizza to 2,400 locations nationwide, was a collective cheer from the GF blogosphere. “The beautiful partnership of Pizza Hut and Udi’s,” said one blogger, is a celiac’s dream come true. “Excited” was the word du jour. Gluten free-ers are excited that the world’s largest pizza company is catering to their dietary needs. Excited that the move will spur other restaurants into GF action, and excited ...


A case of “natural” survival in the frozen food aisle

A case of “natural” survival in the frozen food aisle

The last few years have not been kind to frozen foods. Overall sales have for the most part been flat or shrinking. Any increases have been minimal and short-lived. The recent damage to this once essential grocery segment can largely be traced to a growing consumer taste for fresh, natural, and organic foods.

Like most food trends, the strength of this trend may be overstated but it is real and it is growing as can be seen from the double-digit sales increases for organic foods reported by the...


Yogurt makers hope to capture a little Disney magic

Yogurt makers hope to capture a little Disney magic

Chobani recently announced that it is expanding its product range to appeal to more consumers and eating occasions. Central to the expansion is its new Chobani Kids and Chobani Tots lines, which will prominently feature Disney and Marvel characters on packaging. Such efforts by Disney are an essential strategic maneuver to not only potentially boost present-day sales, but to also build a vital rapport with the next generation of consumers that will endure even as today’s kids grow to adulthood. ...


Move over hot dogs and pretzels, the new wave of American street and grill foods reflect an international culinary experience

Move over hot dogs and pretzels, the new wave of American street and grill foods reflect an international culinary experience

It wasn’t that long ago when street foods would too often bring to mind, for many American, ambivalent associations with foreign and “underdeveloped” countries, along with trepidations about cooking hygiene and food safety.

Sure, nothing could be more American than street, fair, and festival foods such as pizza, hot dogs and corn dogs, soft pretzels, ice cream and snow cones and cotton candy. And there was even occasion for more pronouncedly ethnic or regional options. Ordinarily speaking, non...


Online grocery services: Ready to rocket to over $100 Billion?

Online grocery services: Ready to rocket to over $100 Billion?

For more than a decade, the notorious failure of Webvan scared many potential entrants away from the online grocery business. Now, the field is swiftly becoming crowded with trials by competitors and new operating models, with online grocery services apparently poised to take off on a high growth trajectory, according to Online Food Shopping and Grocery Delivery in the U.S.: Future of Food Retailing by Packaged Facts.

Meeting at the crossroads of technology and service, online grocery shopping...


Annie’s GMO conundrum

Annie’s GMO conundrum

In September 2014, cereal king General Mills Inc. (GM) announced it was acquiring Annie’s Homegrown Inc. for approximately $820 million. Known for its macaroni and cheese and its bunny logo, Annie’s is a well-known natural and organic food producer, and very much conveys the feeling of a small environmentally-oriented company even with $204 million in sales reported for fiscal year 2013, according to Natural and Organic Foods and Beverages in Canada by Packaged Facts.

The deal saw General Mill...


A new era for dieters

A new era for dieters

Recent research suggests that the upward trend in obesity that has vexed public health officials for decades may have leveled out, while the healthy eating movement remains on the upswing. Still, nearly 100 million Americans are watching their diet to lose weight or to maintain their current weight. Successful weight management remains a tough and never-ending battle for many Americans trying to stay on a traditional diet plan. The majority of overweight Americans find that the very idea of a st...